Trump issues order to deregulate health insurance, promising relief from Obamacare

President Trump moved Thursday to scale back rules on health insurance across the country in the administration’s most ambitious effort to date to use its regulatory powers to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

The controversial new executive order Trump issued aims to open the way for a greater number of relatively cheap health plans that could offer skimpier coverage than allowed under the healthcare law, often called Obamacare.

The move will “provide millions of Americans with Obamacare relief,” Trump said as he formally released the order. The changes will “increase competition, increase choice and increase access to lower priced, high quality healthcare options.”

“People will have great, great healthcare,” Trump added, speaking to an audience made up of Cabinet officials, Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and owners of several small businesses who the White House said would benefit by the new plans.

Legislation in the early 2000’s to allow more association health plans drew opposition from more than 450 national and local organizations around the country.

The National Governors Assn. warned at the time that the plans “would be free to selectively market to healthy groups by selling stripped-down benefit packages that exclude benefits now required by states.”

noam.levey@latimes.com

@noamlevey

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UPDATES:

8:45 a.m.: This article was updated with Trump’s remarks while formally releasing the executive order.

This article was originally published at 7:15 a.m.

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